If ever I wondered, I now know for sure that I do not lean in the lesbian manner. I've been meaning to tell you all about this for awhile, but, you know, life's been ridiculously busy and since my sexual orientation is pretty well established, I didn't really think it a burning matter. But still, I wanted to tell you: I'm not gay. I know I'm not gay because my book club, which is one of the most fantastic book clubs in the world and full of ladies I really, really like, read Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides last month, and I'm pretty sure I can attribute my dream of having sex with a woman from that book, and let me tell you- it did nothing for me. Random sex with a random woman. Nope. Didn't like it. Now I know.
Actually, I tell you all this because the book, which is basically the story of a person caught in the middle of their sexuality - a hermaphrodite - has some of the most amazing writing I have ever read in the first half. Seriously, the artistry in the beginning section is breathtaking (the second part, not so much, but you want to forgive it because the first part is so amazing). But all of us ladies sitting around discussing gender and sexuality after reading it was also pretty incredible. What's that famous quote - the one directed at woman to live the way the men they want to marry live? Shoot. I can't remember. But the thing is this: One of the women at our group said she had been to a women's retreat once, and one of the exercises they were told to do was to imagine their entire day from the beeping of their alarm, to when they crawled into bed at night, but to imagine how it would look if they were men instead. I don't know if the fact that imagining myself as a man feels like incredible freedom means that women's equality has a long way to go, or just that I have a very bad imagination of what it's like to be a man, but I'll tell you this: when my life begins to shrink on me, and it feels as though it has become this clearly marked path of uninspired predictability and monochrome routine, I imagine what a man in my position would do, and all of a sudden I see a way out, and it's good.
It's true. I have a shaky history with men in my life. The exact words, "Boys are better than girls," were said to me pretty regularly growing up, and I still feel the almost unrestrainable urge to defend my worth at times, but really, overall, I love being a girl. I love kissing boys, and actually, it feels like some kind of perfection to know that maybe I do need men - to teach me some of the things the ladies have missed out on, like how to say, "Awwwww, fuck it," with gusto, shrug off the the nastiness, be brave in that different way than women are brave, hold power without fear of offending, shower less, be kind, ride a bike with no hands.
That would be nice.